Thursday, October 13, 2005

Treating China's online addicts


[ BBC Reports ] The internet is taking China by storm, with millions of people logging on in record numbers and web cafes busier than ever. Rising personal wealth means more people are able to buy computers or pay to go online. The vast majority are young people using the net to chat or play games.

But behind the boom, there is a downside.

Wang Yiming, 21, is a self-confessed internet addict, one of a growing number in China. He used to spend hours online each day, often going without food or sleep. His face is drawn and sallow.
He said addiction changed his whole life:


"A month or two after I started surfing the internet, I failed some of my school tests, but I was too afraid to tell my parents. When my father found out, he was very angry.

"But I couldn't control my addiction. Friends were also telling me that I was on the net too long, but I thought: 'It's my life, I can do what I want.' I became a real loner, was withdrawn, and wouldn't listen to anyone."

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